PETALING JAYA: Did he or did he not?
This question arose following fresh allegations by PAS Ulama Council Information Chief Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali at-Takiri that Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali had indeed issued PAS an ultimatum over the Sungai Besar by-election.
On Thursday, the Selangor Menteri Besar’s office and PKR leaders had refuted a news report that he threatened his ally in the Selangor Government that the three PAS Exco members must resign if the party decided to contest in the upcoming Sungai Besar by-election.
Khairuddin said the PKR deputy president’s denial of the threat was an outright lie.
“I learnt about this from my party. It can be confirmed that Azmin had instructed the PAS executive councillors to resign if PAS decided to contest in Sungai Besar,” he told FMT.
The denial from Azmin’s supporters followed The Star Online’s report that Azmin had issued the ultimatum after making it clear to the trio that PKR wanted the seat for itself.
According to the news report, a Selangor PAS source also confirmed the Islamist party was standing by its original decision to contest in Sungai Besar.
PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang had also purportedly instructed the three exco members, Iskandar Samad, Ahmad Yunus Hairi and Zaidy Abdul Talib, not to resign, but to be prepared to be expelled from the Selangor Government instead.
Khairuddin said Azmin had issued the ultimatum as the latter was being pressured by Pakatan Harapan leaders to field a candidate from the Opposition pact in Sungai Besar.
PH comprises PKR, DAP and Amanah, a party formed by former PAS members. In Selangor, Azmin also works with PAS in the state government.
On a related matter, Khairuddin said the party had “forgiven” Azmin for attacking PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang.
Yesterday, Azmin was reported to have said that Hadi may not be aware of “what was going on in his own party” and that he “pitied” the Marang lawmaker.
Khairuddin said Azmin’s jab at Hadi could be because PH was pressuring him over the Sungai Besar by-election and the Citizens’ Declaration, which aims to topple Najib Razak as the prime minister.
“Maybe he needed to let off steam and decided to attack a few individuals, including the PAS president,” Khairuddin said.
The by-elections in both Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar are being held following the deaths of Deputy Plantations Industries and Commodities Minister Noriah Kasnon and Kuala Kangsar MP Wan Mohammad Khair-il Wan Ahmad in a helicopter crash in Sarawak earlier this month.
PAS has said it will contest in both parliamentary seats but the Opposition is hoping for straight fights to put up a more credible contest against BN.
It was reported that Azmin and his supporters hope PKR will get a chance to contest Sungai Besar, with Kuala Kangsar contested by PAS, but Amanah is insisting on testing the waters.